Nepal: Government agrees to speed up aid grants to quake victims
June 30, Kathmandu: The government of Nepal has agreed to provide aid grants in two instead of three installments to people who lost their homes in last year's devastating earthquake.
Prime Minister KP Oli made the announcement after the main opposition party protested in parliament for days demanding the government speed up aid to the victims who are spending a second rainy season in temporary shelters, reports said.
Under the agreement, the government will provide 75 percent of the total 200,000 rupees ($1,850) to each family in the first installment and the rest in the second.
The 2015 earthquake damaged nearly one million houses. Only a few thousand people have so far received the first of the three grant installments to reconstruct their homes.
Nepal's earthquake reconstruction agency estimates that rebuilding the homes, offices, schools and hospitals damaged in the April 25, 2015, magnitude-7.8 earthquake will cost $7.86 billion.
Foreign governments and donor agencies have pledged $4.1 billion in financial help for reconstruction, but the government has managed to sign agreements for only about half of that amount.
Nepal has been criticized for the delays in rebuilding more than a year after the earthquake. It took months to form the reconstruction agency and appoint officials while millions of people were left without their homes, the Associated Press reproted.
The Oslo Times International News Network